Bathed in smoke and quickly changing lights, NIN delivered a massive set to close down the third and final day of Lollapalooza 2008.
This was an interesting shoot. Following the chaos of photographing Radiohead and Rage Against The Machine, I would say this was smoothest of all the headliner shoots at Lollapalooza with regard to logistics. As they say, third time's a charm.
Many more photographers were approved for NIN's performance than had been for Radiohead and Rage – so many, in fact, that we were divided into two groups.
I was in the first group, and was granted access to the photo pit for the first two songs. We were instructed by the event organizers that music would start before we were allowed into the pit, but not to worry, as the band would not take the stage before we were ushered in.
As the intro music ended, there was a mad dash into the pit as the first wave of photogs rushed into position. Now, everything up until this point was pretty smooth. The actual photography was another matter entirely.
We were greeted with shock and awe, NIN style, which essentially meant massive amounts of rolling haze and rapidly changing lights.
For the most part, Trent Reznor was dramatically lit with brief flashes of light, coming from the sides as well as from below. Epic amounts of smoke were used for this set, billowing in from the back and sides of the stage in such fierce quantities that image making was impossible at some points due to the obfuscation.
As a result of the general chaos and confusion of the first two songs, I made the decision to focus almost exclusively on Reznor.
I used the Nikon D3 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 exclusively for this set.